A Travellerspoint blog

Beijing

sunny 20 °C
View Adventures of a lifetime on jillandloic's travel map.

The forbidden city

The forbidden city

Since we didn't arrive and climb into bed in our hostel until 3:30 am (Oct 10), we lost most of our first morning to sleep. We did, however, really enjoy the city and visited Tiananmen square and a Jingshan park. We also climbed the Drum tower for a drum performance, and the Bell tower. The second day we spent most of the day at the Forbidden city, which was really slowed down by the crowds. I loved most walking the streets and people watching, as well as trying street foods. We hope to return to China one day and visit the country properly!
Nous arrivons a l'hotel vers 3:30 am (Oct 10), et dormons la plus grosse partie de la matinee. Nous avons traverse 3 fuseaux horaires. Neamnoins nous apprecions vraiment le lundi et le mardi a Beijing. Lundi a Tianamen et au parc Jingshan. Peu de monde, tres paisible. Nous visitons aussi les deux tours au nord, la tour de l'horloge et la tour aux tambours. Un peu d'histoire et beaucoup de marche. Le mardi nous visitons la Cite Interdite, accompagne cette fois ci de plusieurs milliers de chinois dans les rues. Grosse difference d'ambiance. On vous recommande le lundi, meme si certains sites sont fermes. Nous profitons aussi de la situation parfaite de l'hotel (Leo Guest house) pour manger sur le pouce dans les rues du centre ville. Bref, tres bonne experience, nous y reviendrons.
PS: Oui la pollution est un peu voyante.

Frequent sighting of soldiers marching

Frequent sighting of soldiers marching


Largest flower pot sculpture in Tiananmen square

Largest flower pot sculpture in Tiananmen square


Tiananmen Gate

Tiananmen Gate


Tiananmen square flowers

Tiananmen square flowers


Tiananmen square

Tiananmen square


Jingshan park temple

Jingshan park temple


Jingshan park temple details

Jingshan park temple details


Drum tower - These drums were used to note the hour

Drum tower - These drums were used to note the hour


Bell tower - Massive bell and fish ringer

Bell tower - Massive bell and fish ringer


Bell tower - Short skirts and platform shoes are in

Bell tower - Short skirts and platform shoes are in

3 wheeled car

3 wheeled car


Our street in Beijing

Our street in Beijing


Street meat

Street meat


Yummy street food

Yummy street food


Ordering in restaurant was tricky

Ordering in restaurant was tricky


I'm still having difficulties with chopsticks

I'm still having difficulties with chopsticks

Toilette publique femme

Toilette publique femme


Students in Madison need these

Students in Madison need these


Majong in the Park

Majong in the Park

Forbidden City

Forbidden City


More details

More details


Crowds

Crowds

Posted by jillandloic 22:59 Archived in China Comments (1)

Nepal, last few days

sunny 16 °C
View Adventures of a lifetime on jillandloic's travel map.

After our Nepal trek, we had a few days of rest which we used to plan the next few countries. But we took the time to visit the International mountain museum, Devi's falls, and hike to the top of a hill to visit the World Peace Pagoda. After a 10 hour bus ride back to Kathmandu, which was supposed to be 7 (typical in Nepal), we stayed in the city of Bhaktapur, just outside of Kathmandu.
Apres notre trek autour de l'Annapurna, nous sommes en repos a Pokhara pour quelque jours. Nous en profitons pour replanifier nos prochains pays. Nous finissons aussi notre visite de Pokhara avec le musee international de la montagne, les cascades de Davi, et une marche (outch, ca fait mal) de 2-3h pour atteindre la Pagode de la paix dans le monde. Nous rentrons a Kathmandu en bus, sur 10 heures au lieu de 7 (Ah le Nepal....) et restons a Bhaktapur dans la grande banlieue de Kathmandu.

World peace Pagoda

World peace Pagoda


Bhaktapur Durbar Square

Bhaktapur Durbar Square

View from the rooftop

View from the rooftop

World peace Pagoda

World peace Pagoda


Hike through rice files|Marche a travers les rizieres

Hike through rice files|Marche a travers les rizieres


Davi's Falls|Cascades de Davi

Davi's Falls|Cascades de Davi

Since our flight wasn't until 11:30pm, we spent the day wandering the small streets of Durbar square, and doing more planning. After cancelling our flight at 1:30am, Malaysia airlines put us up at the Hyatt Regency! Our flight the next day wasn't until 2pm, followed by a 24 hour layover in Kuala Lumpur, until, finally, our last flight to Beijing (still living vicariously through us?). We were only spending 72 hours there originally, on a transit visa, and were now reduced to less than 2 days!
Notre vol pour Kuala Lampur puis Beijing etant le 7 Octobre a 23:30, nous passons la journee a visiter Bhaktapur et son Durbar Square. Apres quelques heures d'attente a l'aeroport, on nous annonce a 01:30 am (8 octobre) que notre vol n'as pas seulement un peu de retard, mais il sera reporte au lendemain apres midi. Apres un retour a travers l'immigration, Malaysia airlines nous loge (et la centaine de confreres voyageurs) au Hyatt Regency. Une bonne nuit de sommeil et un petit dejeuner royal plus tard (pas le temps pour la piscine) nous nous envolons vers Kuala Lumpur (8 octobre). Le transfer prevu de 12 heures et maintenant etendu a 22heures, donc Malaysia nous envoie (et nos 84 confreres) directement a l'hotel. Pas un Hyatt malheureusement. Le 9 Octobre, nous prenons l'avion pour Beijing et arrivons a 00:30 (10 octobre) pour maximum de 48 heures (il existe une exemption de visa pour sejour temporaire < 72 heures). Bon alors, qui est partant pour battre notre record de 49 heures de transport ?? Jaloux ? :) Bref nous arrivons a Beijing pour 48 heures au lieu de 72.

Posted by jillandloic 22:11 Archived in Nepal Comments (0)

Pokhara and the Poon Hill Trek

overcast 20 °C
View Adventures of a lifetime on jillandloic's travel map.

Up hill Ghorepani-Annapurna view|En hauteur de Ghorepani-vue sur l'Annapurna

Up hill Ghorepani-Annapurna view|En hauteur de Ghorepani-vue sur l'Annapurna

We began our journey to Pokhara with the most gorgeous 30 minute flight passing the Himalayas.
Nous nous envolons pour Pokhara le 26 Septembre avec une vue imprenable sur la chaine de l'Himalaya

View from the plane|Vue de l'avion

View from the plane|Vue de l'avion

We stayed in a luxurious $8 room with a great view of the foothills, and on a clear morning, a few mountains. Our first day we got organized and packed for our upcoming trek, and then spent the afternoon kayaking on Lake Phewa, watching the paragliders fly and land.
Nous restons dans un hotel tres tres correct pour l'astronomique somme de $8, avec en prime une vue sur la montagne locale. Nous passons notre premiere journee a nous orienter et nous preparer pour le trek de Poon Hill que nous avancons finalement a mercredi 28. Nous passons l'apres midi sur le lac Phewa, a faire du kayak et a regarder les parapentes.

Kayaking on Lake Phewa|Kayak sur le Lak

Kayaking on Lake Phewa|Kayak sur le Lak


Watching paragliders|Parapentistes

Watching paragliders|Parapentistes

Wednesday morning we took the 1h 1/2 cab rid to Nayapul, the town where the Poon Hill Trek begins. We chose this trek because it is the shortest trek you can do, while still getting great views of the Annapurna mountains. It is also very easy to follow without a guide, and has teahouses at least every hour, allowing you to refill water, eat, and sleep, whenever you want, without having to carry anything except clothes and toiletries. The first day was very difficult as much of the trail consisted of 3500 stairs!
Mercredi nous prenons le taxi pour Nayapul, a 1h1/2 de Pokhara ou nous commencons 4 jours de trekking. Nous avons choisi ce parcours car c'est le plus court aux alentours de l'Annapurna. Sinon, c'est plutot 10 a 30 jours :) C'est aussi un parcours facilement faisable sans guide ni porteur, ponctue d'auberges a intervalle tres regulier (1-2 heures max), ce qui nous evite de devoir porter autres choses que vetements et produits de toilettes. On commence fort avec un premier jour qui nous met 1000m de denivele et 3500 marches dans les pattes ! On continuera chaque jour avec approximativement 1000 m de denivele par jour.

Biratheni, start of the trek|Biratheni, debut du trek

Biratheni, start of the trek|Biratheni, debut du trek


a Porter|Un porteur

a Porter|Un porteur


A basic $3 room|Une chambre de base pour $3

A basic $3 room|Une chambre de base pour $3


Neverending stairs|Les escaliers sans fin

Neverending stairs|Les escaliers sans fin

Day 2 was also very difficult because we continued to gain more elevation. Since we reached the town to sleep in for the night by 10:30 am, we decided to climb Poon Hill for the views right away, instead of waking up to hike it at sunrise the next day, like everyone else does. The hike up and down was steep and difficult, after having just hiked 3 hours uphill, and the sky was thick with clouds offering us no view of the Annapurnas. I had been feeling a cold coming on since we started the hike, but that afternoon it hit me hard, and we welcomed the downtime with nothing to do but read in bed.
Le second jour, nous arrivons a Ghorepani tot, vers 10h30. Nous decidons de monter en haut de Poon Hill, a 3280m. L'effort est ... persistent (400 m de marches) :) Malheureusement, pas de vue des montagnes, le ciel est toujours couvert en apres midi. Nous nous arretons pour la nuit dans une auberge (gigantesque). Jill prends un coup de froid et nous prenons profitons de l'apres midi pour nous detendre.

Ghorepani From Poon Hill hike|Ghorepani vue de Poon Hill

Ghorepani From Poon Hill hike|Ghorepani vue de Poon Hill


Cold, Windy and no view from Poon Hill|Vent, pluie et froideur - pas de vue depuis Poon Hill

Cold, Windy and no view from Poon Hill|Vent, pluie et froideur - pas de vue depuis Poon Hill


Egg and noodles for most meals|Oeuf et vermicelles pour la plupart des repas

Egg and noodles for most meals|Oeuf et vermicelles pour la plupart des repas


We drank a lot of tea|Nous buvons beaucoup de the

We drank a lot of tea|Nous buvons beaucoup de the

The next morning, we woke to literally everyone in the teahouse heading up Poon Hill with their headlamps in the dark, and were glad we could stay in bed, me most especially, since my cold kept me up much of the night. We ate our breakfast with a terrific view of the mountains, and began our trek a few hours before everyone else. We were pleasantly surprised with pretty much the same view of the Annapurna range in the first hour of day 3's trek, as we would have gotten on the top of Poon Hill, so we did not at all regret our decision to sleep in!
Le matin du 3eme jour, nous sommes reveilles tres tot par tous les marcheurs allant conquerir Poon Hill dans l'obscurite. Nous restons au lit, et profitons des quelques heures de repos supplementaire. Le ciel matinal est degage et nous pernons notre petit dejeuner avec une vue imprenable sur l'Annapurna. Nous continuons le parcours en avance de quelques heures sur tout le monde et sommes agreablement supris de trouver un point de vue comparable a Poon Hill sur le chemin. Pas de regret pour la grasse mat' !

View from the bed|Vue matinal depuis le lit

View from the bed|Vue matinal depuis le lit


Breakfast view|Vue pendant le petit dej

Breakfast view|Vue pendant le petit dej


large_IMG_4766.jpg
View from trekking|Vue pendant le trek

View from trekking|Vue pendant le trek

Day 3 was long and difficult, and we decided going down thousands of steps is more painful than going up them. It was, however, the most beautiful hiking day of the trek, beginning with the view of the mountains, and then following a river with several waterfalls, in between hiking through lush forest.
La marche du 3eme jour de Ghorepani a Ghandruk est longue. La seconde moitie de la journee est en descente, sur des marches. C'est pratiquement plus douloureux que la montee ! C'est malgres tout la partie la plus scenique du parcours comprenant une vue de la chaine de montagne autour de l'Annapurna, situe a quelques kilometres seulement, mais aussi des petits ruisseaux, cascades et autres moments tres appreciables en foret.

large_IMG_4773.jpg
Waterfalls everywhere|Cascades

Waterfalls everywhere|Cascades


Sharing the path with goats and donkeys|Nos croisons des experts locaux

Sharing the path with goats and donkeys|Nos croisons des experts locaux


Stream crossing|Traversee de ruisseau

Stream crossing|Traversee de ruisseau

Our last day of the trek began with a drizzle, the only rain on the whole trek, which lasted about an hour, but made the rocks slick and dangerous to walk down. Much of the morning's trek was through rice fields and small villages, different from the first three days.
Notre dernier jour commence avec un peu de pluie qui complique encore une peu plus (courbatures) la descente des marches. Le reste de la matinee se marche a travers les champs de riz, sous le soleil. Magnifique.

Suspension bridge to tea houses|Pont suspendu versles auberges

Suspension bridge to tea houses|Pont suspendu versles auberges


A Cairn farm|Un nid a cairn

A Cairn farm|Un nid a cairn


Teahouse, waterfalls and suspension bridge

Teahouse, waterfalls and suspension bridge


a teahouse|une auberge

a teahouse|une auberge


large_R0011953.jpg

Overall, we both thought the Poon Hill Trek was the most beautiful hike we'd ever done, but even the "easiest" trek in the Himalayas, is still very difficult. Or maybe, we're just really out of shape from being on vacation for 4 months!
Upon return to our hotel, we gave the owner 8 kilos of laundry, most of our clothes, since they'd only been hand washed since early June!

Au final nous avons adores le trek Ghorepani-Ghandruk. Vues magnifiques extremement proche de l'Annapurna. On comprends facilement l'incroyable hauteur des montagnes enneiges, si proches. Nous pensions que le parcours allait etre facile, mais ce fut en realite eprouvant. Peu etre un manque de preparation technique apres 4 mois de vacances ? :)
De retour a Pokhara, nous passons 8 kilos de linge a laver, approximativement la totalite de notre linge lave a la main depuis 4 mois !

Posted by jillandloic 04:11 Archived in Nepal Comments (1)

Abseiling in waterfalls and rafting in Nepal

rain 25 °C
View Adventures of a lifetime on jillandloic's travel map.

We spent the weekend in western Nepal canyoning near and rafting on the Bhote Koshi river. After a harrowing drive through muddied "roads," we arrived at The Last Resort, a camp surrounded by small villages, waterfalls, and beautiful jungle. Our first day we abseiled 8 waterfalls, ranging from 10-45 meters. It was amazingly fun but very slick. Enjoy Loic's dance to attempt to stay warm between falls! We spent a quiet afternoon in our cabin, and the evening with the two only other couples staying at the camp sharing dinner and drinks.
Nous passons le weekend a l'ouest de Kathmandu, avec un moment detente, canyoning et rafting sur la riviere Bhote Koshi. Apres une route tumultuseuse ( tremblements de terre+eboulements ont detruits des portions de route) nous arrivons a notre destination: le "Last Resort", un camp sur les hauteurs des berges de la riviere, entoure de villages, chutes d'eau et en plein dans la jungle. A 12km du Tibet, c'est assez loin des sentiers battus. Des notre arrivee, nous enfillons nos combinaison et allons faire du canyoning (du rappel, en vrai) sur 8 chutes d'eau allant ed 10 a 45 metres. Amusant, mais humide :) Sur les recommandations du guide, Loic tente de se rechauffer en dansant ! Nous passons l'apres midi au camp, a nous reposer. Puis rejoignons les deux autres couples pour un diner+verres. Bien sympa !

The road to the Last Resort

The road to the Last Resort


The BoteKoshi river

The BoteKoshi river


On the suspension bridge near the resort

On the suspension bridge near the resort


Inside our tent

Inside our tent


Hike through the ricefields to the waterfalls

Hike through the ricefields to the waterfalls


Jill sbseiling

Jill sbseiling


Loic abseiling

Loic abseiling

The 45 meter waterfall

The 45 meter waterfall

large_P1040753.jpg
large_90_P1040775.jpg
The only slide of the day

The only slide of the day

After a quiet Sunday morning spent reading and watching the monkeys play outside our tent, we merged with another group of six tourists to raft down the Bhote Koshi river. The first half was loaded with class III and IV rapids. The second section after lunch was nearly rapid-less, but the guides made up their own excitement with games of performing the titanic, rocking the boat like a teeter totter by standing on the edges, and cramming everyone into one end of the boat to tip it. Each boat also made efforts to throw into the water the opposing boaters, and overall, it was the most fun rafting trip I had ever been on! The ride back we stopped to take in our first view of the Himalayas breaking through the clouds, getting us more revved up for our trek in the mountains in a week!
Apres une reposante nuit, et un reveil tardif, nous passons la matinee a regarder les singes jouer dans les arbres et a lire. Apres une petite heure de 4x4 dans la boue, nous rejoignons 6 autres touristes pour 1 heure de bus jusqu'au depart des raft. La premiere moitie de la riviere est intense, chargee de rapides de niveau 3 et 4, peu de pause. Pause dejeuner, puis c'est reparti, mais cette fois sur une section beaucoup plus calme. Nous en profitons pour chavirer, nous jetter a l'eau, aborder l'autre raft, faire la figure de proue, etc... Tres amusant ! Outre l'aspect sportif, la vue est spectaculaire. Sur le chemin du retour, en hauteur a flanc de montagne, nous nous arretons pour notre premiere vue de la chaine de montagnes Hymalaya.

The monkeys are near our tents

The monkeys are near our tents


large_P1040805.jpg
Rapids !!!

Rapids !!!


One of the many landslides

One of the many landslides

A view of the Valley

A view of the Valley


The beauty of Nepal

The beauty of Nepal


large_IMG_20160925_161802297.jpg
First glimpse of the Himalayas

First glimpse of the Himalayas

Tomorrow we fly to Pokhara to enjoy the Annapurna mountain range and prep for our trek.
Demain Lundi 26 Septembre 2016, nous nous envolons pour Pokhara, et les montagnes de l'Annapurna.

Posted by jillandloic 02:12 Archived in Nepal Comments (1)

Thrissur, India and Kathmandu, Nepal

rain 28 °C
View Adventures of a lifetime on jillandloic's travel map.

pulikali.png

For our last 2 days in India we traveled to Thrissur, India for the tiger dance parade, still part of Onam. The most fun was watching the extravagant floats and costumed people prepare. Once the parade started, the crowd was so thick and pushy that we decided not to stay long.
Nous avons passe nos derniers jours en Inde dans la ville de Thrissur, capitale culturelle l'etat de Kerala. Le but principal de la visite etait le Pulikali, la danse du tigre. Au centre de la ville, un parc ovale de 300 metres de diametre occupe le coeur de la ville. Le festival de danseurs tigres et de chars signale le troisieme jour apres Onam, et attire les foules autour du parc. Extravaganza a l'indienne, beaucoup. beaucoup de monde. Apres avoir vu de tres pres les danseurs et les chars, nous decidons de nous eclipser pour laisser de la place aux milliers de locaux :).

large_IMG_201609..1041993_HDR.jpg
There is a human actor in this scene

There is a human actor in this scene


large_IMG_201609..2630473_HDR.jpg
large_IMG_201609..3346974_HDR.jpg

large_rain.jpg

There isn't much to see as a tourist in Thrissur itself, so the second day we shared a driver for the morning with another guest at our hotel, to take us to Athirappilly and Vazhachal waterfalls, the former being known as the Niagara Falls of India. Sadly, not nearly the size of Niagara, but you can walk right up to the bottom to be drenched by the spray. The next day we flew back to Delhi for an early night's sleep, to wake for an early flight to Kathmandu.
L'autre attraction locale est la presence de chutes d'eau - les Niagara de l'Inde. D'une taille plus mesuree, ce sont neamoins des chutes d'eau tres impressionnantes ! Le jour suivant nous nous envolons pour Delhi et dormons sur place pour un depart a 8 heure pour Kathmandu, Nepal

Monkeys

Monkeys

Little Waterfalls

Little Waterfalls

large_IMG_20160918_103423941.jpglarge_P1040717.jpg
large_90_P1040710.jpglarge_R0011811__2_.jpg
large_P1040722.jpg

Coming from India, we weren't so shocked by the culture in Nepal, as most people would be if coming from the states or France. It is still hot here and although we are still technically in the monsoon season, these first few days have showered us with little rain. Though cleaner and without the cows wandering all over town, the streets of Kathmandu are equally noisy and crowded as in India. Many people wear facemasks to protect against the air pollution, but we don't plan to be here long enough for the investment. We've spent our first 2 days gathering information for daytrips and planning for our trek in a few weeks. We also visited Durbar Square and its earthquake-shattered buildings. We've also enjoyed daiquiris and significantly better food, as well as live music. Kathmandu is definitely more set up for tourists than many of the cities in India we visited, and the comforts are very welcomed!
Nous arrivons donc a Kathmandu apres plusieurs jours en Inde. pas de choc de culture, les rues nepalaise sont similaires au sud de l'Inde. Bien que techniquement toujours en periode des moussons, pas de grosses pluies en vue. La ville de Kathmandu, et le quartier de Thamel en particulier est bruyant et grouille de locaux et de touristes. Bien plus propre et agreable que nos experiences indiennes. Les masques anti-poussieres-polution sont a la mode! Nous profitons de quatre nuits dans un hotel agreable du quartier a touriste de Thamel pour organiser notre sejour au Nepal. Les restaurants et bars nous deviennent tres agreables :) Kathmandu est parfaitement organisee pour accueillir les touristes de tous pays et les acclimater doucement aux realites locales. Nous avons fait une courte visite des monuments de la place Durbar et ses monuments affectes par le tremblemement de terre.

a real size manequin

a real size manequin


The meat market

The meat market


Durbar square

Durbar square


Durbar Square

Durbar Square


Durbar Square

Durbar Square


Leaning walls

Leaning walls


Kathmandu being rebuilt after the 2015 earthquake

Kathmandu being rebuilt after the 2015 earthquake


View from the city

View from the city


Another view

Another view


Time for drinks

Time for drinks

PS: Almost every meal we had in Kathmandu was very good and cheap, except for that one time where Jill exclaimed: "Who put yack cheese in my cesar salad ?!!"
PS: La quasi totalite des repas que nous avons mange a Kathmandu sont bons et peu chers, a l'exception d'une memorable occasion ou Jill s'est exclame : "Qui a echanger ma mozarella contre du fromage de yack !"

Posted by jillandloic 06:44 Archived in India Comments (0)

(Entries 46 - 50 of 74) « Page .. 5 6 7 8 9 [10] 11 12 13 14 15 .. »